G & T Show Supplemental Log – John Jackson Miller
G & T Show Supplemental Log – John Jackson Miller is now available to download. Check it out here. This week Nick, Terry, and Mike had the opportunity and privilege to sit down with John Jackson Miller to talk about his latest book Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown, Star Wars, Comics, and so much more. Terry offers listeners a chance to win a copy of Takedown by answering a question Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies in another G & T Show contest. Don’t miss this fun interview.
We kick off the show with introductions before jumping into the first question for our guest, John Jackson Miller, about when he will fulfill his dream to write Star Wars novels. John has written several Star Wars novels. John starts off by describing his fandom for Star Trek, Star Wars, and comics.
He mentioned working for Comics Buyers Guide, which is where he made the contacts that got him started writing prose for Star Trek and Star Wars. John goes on to say that he had pitched a Star Trek story about Scotty for the Strange New Worlds Anthology before pitching his first Star Wars story. He tells us about that experience. When he was writing Star Wars comics, John had sent a proposal for an SCE novel to Keith R.A. DeCandido, but the series had been canceled by that time. Shortly after that, his first Star Wars prose story was published. He mentions that he ended up recycling part of the SCE story for it.
John has written around 100 Star Wars products over his career, which includes novels, short stories, ebooks, graphic novels, comics, and games. He won a Scribe for his novel Kenobi, which was a western like story documenting the title character’s first month on Tatooine. It was after Kenobi was published that he was offered the opportunity to write a Star Trek: Titan ebook, which became Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies. He ended writing Star Wars: A New Dawn and Star Trek: Takedown back to back by the time Absent Enemies was published.
Star Wars: A New Dawn is the prequel to the Rebels series. It spurs a discussion of the decanonization of the current Star Wars Extended Universe and its reboot, which was officially kicked off with John’s novel Star Wars: A New Dawn. He talks about the continuities between the various medias that existed before and after the official establishment of the Extended Universe.
Nick asks about which fandom is more knitpicking. John explains that every franchise has their share of diehard fans, but thinks that Star Trek has a longer history and more episodes that it has to account for than Star Wars does. John continues his discussion of the new continuity and the creation of the LucasFilms Story Group. He states that although that a lot of the existing fiction has been effectively removed from the continuity, it doesn’t mean that characters, planets, corporation names, that previously existed in the earlier fiction won’t reappear in the new continuity at some point. It very well may inspire things in the new continuity.
He compares the old fiction to old time radio shows that featured a reset button after every story. Today, everything crosses over to everything else because of the Internet. He says that its easier for him to write for Star Trek today than it had just ten years ago. Star Trek underwent something similar when Destiny was released. It set a single course for everything that followed it in the novel universe. He mentions that in Takedown, he references events that occurred in a Deep Space Nine novel that pre-dated Destiny and wonders by doing so if it gives credence to other things that happen in that novel and in the series.
The conversation shifts to Takedown. Terry has been raving about the book for weeks and is very picky about how Riker is written and compares his work to that of James Swallow. John mentions that he worked closely with James on his books to make sure that their work didn’t conflict with one another. Nick mentions that James is a long time friend of the show. John mentions that James is working on some Rebels stuff as well.
Nick asks about viewing order for parents with children wanting to introduce their kids to Star Wars. John offers his thoughts and suggestions on it. For Rebels, he found it easier to write since no one knew anything about these characters and where they end up than it was writing the Kenobi novel, since it was set immediately after the third movie and everyone knows what happens to him in the fourth. They discuss the Kenobi novel, which was partially inspired by Shane. He says that it has gotten the most attention of anything he’s written, but admits that Takedown has gotten better reviews. He talks about Takedown and how much fun it was writing the story.
Nick asks a question about comics and specifically Ironman. John runs Comichron which archives the sales records for various comics. He shares a story about being pulled off work on an Ironman story because of the upcoming films that led him to working on his first Star Wars project. His darkhorse Star Wars comics are being republished by Marvel in a collection. Nick asked about his inspiration for his work in comics. They talk about Peter David, which John worked with. John stuns them, when mentions that Harlan Ellison actually encouraged him to write fiction. He recounts the story. Nick shares their Harlan Ellison story from last year’s STLV convention.
Nick mentions that all three of them have been in Star Trek stories. They each recount how they appeared in Trek novels. Terry is a member of Titan crew. She shifts the conversation to Absent Enemies and Takedown. She had read somewhere that he had asked to write for Riker. He wanted to write a Moriarty story but at the time they were already working on one. Takedown evolved from it.
Terry talks about some of her concerns with Takedown before picking it up. She shares her thoughts on the story without providing spoilers, although she does discuss one of her biggest concerns. Nick asks if he’s going to be happy with the way Christine Vale is portrayed in the book. Riker spends most of his time in this book on the Aventine. John explains that the story had so many destinations and so many intertwining threads that it was complicated and fun bringing them all together. Nick talks about his love for Ezri Dax and how happy he is to see the Aventine floating between various novels. Terry thinks John nailed Riker’s characterization. They discuss the trouble that ensues when a Commodore or Admiral comes aboard ship and how Riker and Admiral Ross in DS9 broke the mold.
Before getting into their Lipton questions, Terry reveals the contest they are doing for this show. She has a copy of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown that will be given to the first person that discerns which scene from Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies is her favorite. She drops a hint that it’s not a particular scene, though it did make her happy. Email your answer to [email protected].
They jump to the Lipton questions with a Star Trek and Star Wars twist. You’ve got to check out John answers and some of the squirrels that run rampant throughout the conversation. Nick finishes up the Lipton questions with a new one regarding Captain Jelico.
Winding up the show, Terry reminds their listeners about the contest guessing which scene from Absent Enemies is her favorite to win a copy of Takedown. John pitches. He’ll be at Powers Comics in Greenbay, WI this saturday. March 20th through 22nd, he’ll be doing multiple panels at MidSouthCon in Memphis. In mid April, he will be attending Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. His first appearance as an author at Star Trek-centric show will occur at Shoreleave 37, which upsets Nick and Terry, since they will be at STLV the same weekend as Shoreleave. John shares links to his websites and social media pages — they can be found below.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.